England cricketer Ben Stokes' father, Ged, is in 'a critical condition' in a Johannesburg hospital, and is at his bedside.
Johannesburg: England cricketer Ben Stokes' father, Ged, is in "a critical condition" in a Johannesburg hospital, and is at his bedside.
The former rugby league international was taken in with a "serious illness" on Monday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Tuesday.
Ben Stokes was due to join his teammates in a Christmas Eve training session in Centurion, 45 minutes north of Johannesburg, but was instead with his family.
An ECB statement read: "Ben Stokes' father, Ged, was admitted to hospital on Monday in Johannesburg after suffering a serious illness. He remains in a critical condition.
"The allrounder will not be at England's training session at SuperSport Park this afternoon so that he can be at his father's bedside. The England and Wales Cricket Board, with the support of Ben and his family, request that the media and public respect Ben and his family's privacy at this time."
Stokes senior, 64, played one rugby league Test for New Zealand in 1982 and first moved to England as a player with Workington Town.
Ged, whose full name is Gerard, lives just outside Christchurch, New Zealand with Stokes' mother, Deb.
The first Test between England and South Africa is scheduled to start on Thursday.
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With Ben Stokes leading the side, coming out as a fresh change in English cricket circles, and Bairstow ruthless form, England have a slight edge over India going into the fifth Test match.
Under Brendon McCullum's guidance and Stokes' aggressive captaincy, a 'new-look' England swept New Zealand 3-0 in their last series at home, just days back.
McCullum also admits that he was initially afraid of the fact that the two were too similar in their approach and it might not fare well for the team.